Grilling season officially kicks off next weekend, and we’re here to make sure your Memorial Day cookout is better than ever. Start with one of the simplest things you could possibly throw on the grill: hot dogs. There are probably a million possible hot dog combinations. First you’ve got your bun options: honey wheat, potato, bolillo, baguette. Then you’ve got your options for sauce, cheese, veggies and other toppings. Finally, you’ve got your choices for the dog itself: veggie, chicken, Ball Park Frank, organic grass-fed beef … and sausages, oh, the sausages! Actually, all hot dogs are sausages, but we tend to put the spicier variety in its own category.
Summer party spreads like picnics and potlucks are an excellent opportunity to put your creative snacking skills to use and experiment with inventing new and exciting hot dog combinations, or host a summer soiree with a preloaded DIY hot dog bar to get your guests’ juices flowing.
Check out the full gallery for all 12 unexpected hot dog toppings.
Ketchup, mustard, maybe some relish and sweet, saucy onions. These classic toppings surely get the job done when it comes to making an everyday hot dog, but for a next-level cookout, try dressing up your favorite franks with nontraditional fixings. On this morning’s episode of The Kitchen, Katie, Marcela and Jeff introduced their creative takes on hot dogs with their West Virginia-Style Hot Dog, Mexican-Style Hot Dog and Depression Dog with peppers, respectively. This summer, follow the co-hosts’ leads by experimenting with unexpected toppings; just stick with your favorite ingredients and try to choose flavors that you know complement one another. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite ways to build a better dog below, then browse Food Network Magazine’s roundup of 50 All-Purpose Condiments complete with must-see ideas for adding finishing touches to your grilled greats.
While Jeff’s Depression Dog from The Kitchen may have been deliciously simple, his Chicago-Style Hot Dog with Homemade Relish (pictured above) is perhaps the ultimate in hot dog indulgence. He starts with beef franks and tops them with white onions and yellow mustard, plus homemade pickles and golden-brown french fries flavored with celery seed. Jeff recommends building the dogs, then letting them steam for a few minutes before serving.
Trying to make something bigger — not to say better — than the next guy is almost as American as hot dogs. So there may be little quite so American as the gargantuan frankfurter served up Friday at the Miami-Dade County Fair with the goal of grabbing the Guinness record for the world’s largest commercially available hot dog.
The humongous wiener tipped the scales at 125.5 pounds, including the huge bun and heaping portions of ketchup, mustard, relish and sliced onions, according to the Miami Herald. Devoid of bun and condiments — “naked,” as the newspaper put it — the dawg weighed 51 pounds.
Created by Juicy’s Outlaw Grill, whose founder already holds the Guinness World Record for the largest commercially available hamburger, the ultra-large link was cooked for three hours on a 100-foot-long, 20-foot-tall, 27-ton mobile grill. (You can see the giant dog, which has yet to be certified by Guinness, cooking on the grill here.)
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each weekend, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread features dressed-up hot dogs.
Ketchup and mustard may be two of the most traditional hot dog condiments, but you can surely dress up the everyday dog with deliciously creative twists on toppings. Like burgers and grilled chicken, hot dogs are blank canvases that can showcase seemingly any flavors you like or ingredients you have on hand. Try thinking of ingredient combinations you know work well together and using your favorite meals as inspiration to develop a next-level hot dog, like the ones featured below.
Showcasing the timeless pair of chili and cheese, Food Network Magazine‘s top-rated Chipotle Chili Cheese Dogs (pictured above) are full of bold, smoky flavors. The star element of this dog is the bold chili, featuring crispy sauteed bacon, cumin, meaty pinto beans and tomatoes. Once it’s thick and rich, spoon the chili atop snappy grilled hot dogs, then finish with shredded pepper Jack cheese, cool sour cream and scallions. Since this recipe calls for footlong hot dogs instead of ballpark-style dogs, it’s best to use hoagie rolls for buns. These hefty loaves will support the size of the hot dog and the weight of the chili; plus, they boast heftier dough than traditional hot dog buns.
I must confess: I’ve never been much of a hot dog person. At a tailgate or poolside, I’ll happily indulge. But when scouring the Internet for new recipes, franks are not usually on my radar. At least, that used to be the case.
There has been a lot of buzz around hot dogs during the last couple years, and the momentum hasn’t stopped. Not just for game day anymore, the popular American finger food has become trendy and edgy, pushing past traditional ketchup and mustard to embrace new and bolder toppings. Hot dogs are popping up on menus worldwide and taking over magazine spreads; the question is whether they’re worth the hype. I may have been a skeptic before, but after making Brooklyn’s Corniest Hot Dog, I am a firm believer. Corn and caramelized onions are a match made in heaven. Add bacon, and now we’re really cooking. Needless to say, this recipe was a winner.
Batter up! The 2013 Major League Baseball season opens tonight with the Texas Rangers at the Houston Astros. Long before the seats get filled, though, the concession stands will be busy getting ready for crowds that will consume countless hot dogs, hamburgers, and even macaroni and cheese. If you find yourself in stadiums in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, San Diego, St. Louis or Texas this season, you’ll want to check out Food Network’s stands.
New home-run offerings include Red Hot Burgers, mac and cheese carts, tacos, quesadilla carts and sandwich stands.
Back this season in Cincinnati and St. Louis are the custom hot dog bars: Satisfy your craving for all-American classic ballpark fare with a quarter-pound hot dog served on a potato roll. And it doesn’t stop there. Top your dog with the basics: barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, relish and sauerkraut. Plus, choose from Food Network favorites: bacon chunks, fried onions, corn chips, griddled onions and peppers, shredded cheddar, smoky baked beans and a smoky-sweet jalapeno relish.
Headed to the park this season? Check out Food Network’s menus for the following stadiums.
Batter up! The 2012 Major League Baseball season opened last night with the christening of the new Marlins Ballpark. The Cardinals and Miami Marlins battled it out at the 37,000-seat venue, which features a retractable roof and a view of downtown Miami — one of the reasons for the 2012 Marlins name change.
The Marlins name isn’t the only thing changing this season: Food Network and Delaware North Companies Sportservice are ushering in the start of MLB with a customizable hot dog bar, A Topping for Every Taste.